The Dreaded Money Talk

I don’t know about you, but I hate the words….”Hon, can we sit down and talk about the budget?”. Ugh….shivers go down my spine and my whole body goes into flight or fight mode. That was me just last night…..my husband spoke the dreaded words. At time of writing we haven’t had the talk yet, but it’s coming.

Despite my reaction of dread, I do know that these talks are necessary…..as much as I prefer being an ostrich with my head in the sand. They are necessary because it is important that we are on the same page with our finances, that we are facing reality with the state of our finances and it enables us to make small changes to prevent huge issues later down the track.

I hate budgets….my preference would be to have enough to do what I want, when I want…..I know….dreams are FREE!! Since that is not my reality, budgets are a necessary evil. Some people love budgets. They feel in control, they love knowing exactly where each penny goes and the joy of seeing the savings account blossom. I would hazard a guess that most of us don’t love sticking to budgets, but they are definitely a part of our lives if we want to get ahead financially.

If you haven’t got one in place, then think about it. If you need budgeting advice, then seek someone you trust to help you or go to a professional. At Fit 4 Life, our own Bryce Staveley helps our gym members (and sometimes non-members) create realistic budgets to achieve their financial goals. If you’re in need of some new ideas for your budget or to get one started in the first place, then contact us on info@fit4lifefitness.co.nz to make an appointment.

Now, I am off to that dreaded money talk with my hubby!! 🙂

Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff

Christy

Finance – Making your dollar stretch with DIY

For a lot of New Zealanders the cheapest way to do something is to do it yourself.  When you do want to tackle some jobs around the house or just want some new tools there are some ways to get your money’s worth.

Hardware stores are usually the first port of call when it comes to DIY.

Placemakers has introduced the ‘know how’ card that gets you 10% back in vouchers.  This card is free to apply for and has no fees attached to it.  http://knowhowcard.placemakers.co.nz/register.aspx

Mitre 10 Mega & Bunnings Warehouse both have a best price guarantee.  Each store says it will beat a lower price on the same item by 15%.  I have found the best way to do this is by checking the different hardware stores (Mitre10, Bunnings, Carters, Hammer Hardware, Placemakers, etc…) and then once you have found the lowest price go to either Mitre 10 or Bunnings with the details of the store and the price.  You have to ensure that the item is not on sale and that they have it in stock.  You also should make sure it is the exact same item.  Stores sometimes carry similar items but they have different model #s so be careful.  Personally I usually take the lowest price to Mitre 10 so that I can get Flybuys.

Specialty Items –  I have found that not all things are available at the major hardware stores.  Things like stainless steel fasteners are sometimes more affordable and sometimes only available from specialty shops.  There are a few here on the Shore that I have very helpful:

The Bolt Shop,  191 Archers Road              www.boltshop.co.nz

Fasteners Direct,  7C Saturn Place             www.fastenersdirect.co.nz

It definitely pays to compare prices, I once found some baton screws at one store for $1.70 each that at the other was $5.10 each!

Have fun on your next project and if you find some great deals let us know so we can pass it on – fit4lifefitness@vodafone.co.nz

Jason – Fit 4 Life Staff


Finance – A Little Help From A Friend Makes Budgeting Way More Fun

If you are anything like me then everything to do with finances and numbers is your worst nightmare!!!  I’m just not passionate about money or get a buzz out of figuring out and crunching numbers.  It’s just not fun for me!!!  However, of course I like to have money when I zip zap my card through the machine when shopping or giving it away.  I’m so thankful there are people in this world who love this area that’s my weakness and can balance and compliment people like me!  I have huge respect for you!

It’s that time of year when you might be thinking about all that money you spent over Christmas and summer break and freaking out a little so now you are making new years resolutions and budgets for the year!!   Well if you are dreading the thought of writing up a budget and figuring it all out, then I have hope for you!  My friend and boss Bryce Staveley who set up and opened Fit4Life is an expert in this area!!

Bryce has helped me write up budgets and even made the financial appointments fun!!   I’ve come away understanding money more and how it all works.  I have beautiful brightly coloured spreadsheets with budgets and pointers of things I need to do to set me up and prepare me for my future.  It doesn’t matter how little or how much you have, he can help you be more effective and wiser with the money you have been entrusted with.

I have absolutely no hesitation in endorsing Bryce to give you help or advice in any area of financial assistance you may need.  He is highly knowledgeable, experienced, skilled and very approachable and caring to everyone he encounters. Don’t worry about how little you don’t know or understand, he doesn’t judge and will have you feeling at ease and on your way to a brighter future in no time!!

If you are currently a member at Fit4Life, it’s free to make an appointment to see Bryce.  If you are not a member and are reading this and would love to seek financial advice then I know Bryce would love to still help you, it will just depend on availability with his schedule.  So lose the headache and stress out of finances and pick up the phone or get down to Fit4Life and make an appointment.  Start 2011 off being responsible with your budgeting and investments!

Kirstie Pickering – Fit 4 Life Staff and Group Fitness Instructor

Finance – My Little Stash of Cash

In marriage, money is something that can become a sticky topic.

One thing I’ve appreciated about our budget is that it contains a weekly allowance for both Jason and I. This gives us each a bit of freedom to enjoy some small treats and prevents quibbles about, “Why are you buying that, do you need it?” kinda stuff. (My kind and generous husband even decided to allocate me double of what he gets in our weekly allowance! :))

Because I’m the more ‘dangerous’ spender between the two of us, I have a separate account for this allowance, so it is limited to what’s in it. I know, if you see the bank statement you will laugh because it is a separate little account for not very much cash! You don’t have to do this, but it helps me. (And probably helps Jason feel safe haha.)

This means that every week I have some money to do ANYTHING I want with- a magazine, a random coffee, a piece of clothing or other fun things. I love this as I don’t feel guilty buying something that I may not necessarily need once in a while and don’t get worried that it will eat into our budget. Even though it is not a massive amount, it is still great, as I can accumulate or save up enough to buy larger items over months.

The tricky part would probably be defining what kinds of things would go under ‘allowance’. (Oh and the word ‘allowance’ might sound funny/childlike to some. You can call it something else if that word doesn’t work for you.) It is probably wise to agree on a clear definition together.

For us, the point of an allowance is to give us a bit of a breather to spend on unimportant-but-fun things we each desire, but as the amount is limited, there are boundaries that protect our overall finances. Please note that this is a minor category in the whole realm of budgeting, but I feel that this has helped us reduce some stress in handling finances within marriage.

hmmm. I initially thought to write about something a bit more exciting, like how to spend money! But I think I’ll leave that for another day…

Don’t forget though that members of Fit 4 Life can receive free financial planning so sign up today for your appointment!!!

Sarah – Fit 4 Life Staff